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ion. He therefore advanced to meet the enemy and contest with him the passage of the streams. The result proved the wisdom of his action, the safety of which lay in its boldness. The Mexicans, apprehending that his little troop was but the advance-guard of an army, hastily recrossed the Rio Grande; and, in furtherance of some other political project, were soon diverted into distant quarters, thus freeing the frontier from present danger. Thus was this official death-warrant annulled by Providence. The coast of Texas was about the same time relieved from the depredations of the enemy by the French blockade of the ports of Mexico. General Johnston, having no troops to command and no present occupation, again wished to resign, but was so strongly dissuaded that, in June, he accepted a furlough and went to Kentucky. Colonel Hockley, who had succeeded Mr. Bee as Secretary of War, informed General Johnston, August 21st, of Cordova's revolt, which ended in smoke, however; and, appris
p into the larger proportions of a general war. The whole policy of President Houston had been to postpone the evil day, and to evade difficulties instead of meeting them. Time is so important an element in setting straight the crooked things of this world, and was, especially, of such moment in the affairs of Texas, that the President's procrastination appears pardonable; but its sole advantage turned out to be the personal one of shifting the accumulated burden upon his successor. Yet Providence had supplied the defects of human foresight, and stood friend to the struggling young nation. In 1837 the Mexican army of invasion, after surveying the attitude of the Texan force on the Coleto under General Johnston, concluded to retire; and in 1838 it retreated, as has been narrated, before a shadow. In the same year the French blockade of the Mexican ports ended the Mexican blockade of the coast of Texas, and supplied the loss of the fleet; but on the 9th of March, 1839, the French
for it. The dog was dead, and nothing could restore him to life, and he hoped that his family would bear their loss with fortitude. It has been mentioned that, when General Johnston was appointed paymaster, his family spent the summer in Kentucky. On their return he met them in New Orleans, only to learn that his infant daughter had recently died. The following touching letter expresses exactly the spirit in which he habitually accepted afflictions, as well as other dispensations of Providence: New Orleans, Saturday, December 14, 1850. dear Hancock: My family arrived here yesterday, and I only then learned from my wife the loss of our dear little Mary. Great as our distress is, I can still thank God that my wife and my other children are left to me. It is not right to judge of his dispensations, nor do I, but bow with humble submission to decrees the wisdom of which I cannot comprehend and the justice of which I must not question. I received Aunt Mary's letter. I canno
pinion of General Johnston's qualities had greatly improved on a better acquaintance. Thus while General Johnston was undergoing the combined hardships, drudgery, and mental torture, arising out of his duties and losses as paymaster, a kind Providence and zealous friends advanced him to the very position which he preferred to all others. It is true that he had never held a regular cavalry command, though he had served with the rangers in Texas; but his professional knowledge was wide, and hnt, we stand to listen for the insolent shouts of the greedy wreckers. May Divine interposition prevent the shock! San Antonio, Texas, September 12, 1856. My dear son: We are all well, but good health is no novelty here; the beneficence of Providence has accorded this blessing to all the inhabitants of this beautiful region. The simplicity of our habits, from the necessity of practising a rigid economy, imposes upon us the fulfillment of the conditions which insure that blessing to us. Aft
duct in the opening of the war. He knew that no man's voice or influence could control the tempest of human passions which was driving the republic on the breakers; yet such was his faith in its destiny that he could still trust that a good Providence would rescue it, even if by a miracle. In such a state of affairs, there was nothing left for a man in his position but to drift, standing at his post. His temper was of a cast so cheerful, his philosophy so bracing, and his code of duty so ebuted to bring it about. I suppose the difficulties will now only be adjusted by the sword. In my humble judgment that was not the remedy. I hope, my dear sister, you are in good health, and that you may long live to enjoy the good things Providence has placed in your hands. Such is the prayer of your affectionate brother, A. S. Johnston. It is a pleasant thought, now that death has reunited these kindred and exalted spirits, to remember that, though differing so widely, the affectio
y grateful to him. There were considerations to hold him back from the fray that might well have weakened the stoutest resolution. A wife and helpless family of little children looked to him for protection and support. He had saved no fortune: fifteen hundred dollars made up his available means. And now, when a great public duty demanded his talents and experience, it seemed that it must yield to the more immediate call of domestic obligations. But the very spot and people to which Providence had led him afforded to his family a retreat unequaled for security, while a generous, affectionate, and vigorous protector was raised up for their care and succor. Dr. John S. Griffin, Mrs. Johnston's brother, had the will and power to relieve General Johnston's embarrassment, by taking charge of his family. To him they were committed, and nobly was the trust redeemed. Freed from this imperious demand, General Johnston made up his mind to sacrifice all private interests for the sake o
people is a painful spectacle; but it was the inevitable result of their own political folly in clinging to faithless leaders, instead of following the generous impulses that would have placed them in the van of battle. There was a time when her resolute demand for peace, in armed conjunction with the other border States, might have stayed the hand of war; but the vacillation and imbecility of her counsels reduced her to the condition of an unwilling auxiliary in the abolition crusade. Providence protected the people of Kentucky from degradation, by subjecting them to a purgation of fire; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. But despoiled, outraged, and bewailing their sons slain in battle, they remembered the traditions of State-rights and constitutional Democracy, and have since testified thereto, through good and evil report. This rapid sketch of the condition of Kentucky will serve to show the causes that paralyzed her action, humbled her people, and ult
ed States Government soon afterward came to the same conclusion. On another evening, some of his staff were discussing the question of the probable boundary-line of the Confederate States, in the final treaty of peace; none then doubted their achievement of independence. The general's opinion being requested, he answered: In the beginning of a great war like this, I never try to prognosticate final results. I do the duty which, for the time being, lies before me, and I leave the rest to Providence. He possessed, in an admirable degree, the habit of reticence-so essential in a commander. When he left Columbus for Bowling Green, his departure was conducted at night with such privacy that I doubt if any one of those he left at the former place, except the officer in command, had even a suspicion of his intention to transfer his headquarters. A few days before we left, he called me out one afternoon into the lawn, to a distance from the house, beyond the possibility of being overh
obscure and distant danger in Kentucky, and trusted to fortune for the protection of the postern to their citadel. General Bragg's reply discusses the aspects of the situation so well, for the most part, that it is here given entire: headquarters, near Pensacola, Florida, September 27, 1861. dear Sir: Colonel D. P. Buckner called on me yesterday in behalf of yourself and our great cause in Kentucky. His accounts of our affairs there are by no means cheering; but, with the blessing of Providence and your exertions, we yet expect a great deal in that direction. It is in my power to do but little for you. We have no spare arms, and are still deficient in ammunition. I have men, and can get any number; and those who have been with us some months are well-instructed, fine soldiers. Weeks ago I offered four of these regiments to the President for an equal number of new men, believing that the cause would be advanced by such a move. This was all I could do, and all I can do now;
ut calling upon him. I replied, Yes, but excused myself upon the ground that I knew he was overwhelmed with business, etc. He at once inquired as to the feeling and views of the people of Tennessee, spoke feelingly and rapidly of the situation; informed me that he was making arrangements to move his force as rapidly as possible to Corinth, which would leave Middle Tennessee exposed; but added, or rather concluded, by saying, General Whitthorne, go tell your people that, under the favor of Providence, I will return in less than ninety days and redeem their capital. I remember well his confident tone, his smile, and the earnestness of his manner. I had such faith and confidence in him that I believed such would be the case. And, had he lived, my conviction is, that lie would have accomplished his purpose and his plan — the recovery of Nashville. Governor Harris, on the fall of Nashville, carried the State archives to Memphis to secure them. While there, on February 20th, General
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